Fanny Serrano takes greater risks with printed fabrics

ICONIC beauty expert/innovator/ make-up artist of top celebrities and fashion designer in his own right Fanny Serrano would rather be tagged for his most reputable career now than as movie/TV actor of consequence that he has proven to all and sundry.

Fanny Serrano insists on this despite romping off the Best Actor award for Director Neil “Buboy” Tan’s “Tarima” recently from an academic award-giving which he shared with Coco Martin for the movie “Noy.”

“Tarima” was also fielded in New York’s Soho International Film Festival and Fanny gathered more than a glowing review from film critics there.

A nominee for the last URIAN award, Fanny is out to compete in the same category this June at the PMPC (Phil. Movie Press Club) Star Awards for the Movies. FAMAS has not released its nominees, but we are more than certain he will be shortlisted for the same coveted category.

But here’s the rub. Fanny Serrano for the life of him would rather that the highly contended trophies for Best Actor awards left in the coming acting derbies  be awarded to full-time actors than to him, saying, “ I have come to realize acting is not exactly my calling. It’s not my bread and butter, maybe a trifle outlet for my other creative energies and that’s all about it.”

To Fanny, acting awards ought to be given to the deserving whose lives depended seriously on the craft of acting, not to part-time actors like him.  He’d rather build up on his craft as beauty expert and reputable designer than impinge on the career of others and become a threat to the endangered lives of movie actors in the local industry that is dying, if not dead.

Held in high esteem by his peers and emergent names in the fashion industry, Fanny waxed ecstatic over his most overwhelming success at the recently concluded Fashion Week 2011 at the SMX Mall of Asia. His ten couture collections were showcased along with the creations of budding designers in his show billed “Grand Allure Collections” modeled by three of the country’s Supermodels based in New York, Charo Ronquillo, Charlene Almarvis and this year’s first winner of the Ford Elite Model of the Year Danica Magpantay.

But wait, the iconic designer’s participation this year at the Fashion Week is a story worth retelling because for the past three years he has refrained from showcasing his creations from this group. It was Fanny’s way of boycotting or showing protest against those who wrote bad, bad fashion reviews of emergent designers who were summarily judged as designers of the worst kind in the same annual event.

“Naawa ako sa mga new designers because naapektuhan talaga sila sa bad reviews at pati na mga kliyente nila ay nagkawalaan. Sana ako na lang ang binanatan ng mga fashion reviewers,” he recalled.

And how come he totally changed his mind to join the Fashion Week this year? It also is one great story to be told yet. Fanny mused, “I guess it was Providential. On a business trip to Dubai, I visited  famous Pinoy designers there like Michael Sinco, Edra Santos, Furne One, Butch Fuentes, Albert Andrada, Bandoix Flores at their workplaces and workshops as well. Mind you these  guys are top-of-the line if not top- of- the world who  generously let me in on their trade secrets there. This included the so-called Palace designers like Rocy Gathercole and Joey Baluyot, now considered America’s next top model designers.

Fanny glowed, “In terms of quality, the fabrics that are sourced there were far ample of high quality, class as class can be and the world’s best you can’t place them side by side even with our fabrics sourced abroad. Hindi uso sa kanila ang magtitipid sa tela pa lang.”

The fabrics according to Fanny came from the world’s best and most exotic suppliers like Italy, China, etc. This includes fabrics specially designed and strictly franchised from the names of the  world’s famous designers down to the accessories, laces, accoutrements and smallest buttons imported yet from Geneva, Switzerland.

From seeing and touching the “inspirational” fabrics at hand, Fanny Serrano right off decided to call the Executive Producer of Fashion Week Joey Espino of his intention to join this year’s event. So off he went home bundling off lavish wads of fabrics mostly printed including rare accessories from Dubai.

For the longest time in his designing career Fanny always preferred plain fabric __ plain velvet, silk, organza, etc., to the printed ones which to him smack of the fabric preference of the hoi-polloi, a big no-no if not almost a taboo.

Fanny bemused, “Like an actor wanting to challenge myself with something out of the ordinary, for the first time in my career I took the risk with printed fabrics from Dubai. Can you imagine high-fashion out of printed fabrics.

Yes, it’s outrageous and nothing short of “baduy” we were in full agreement with the designer’s perception of printed fabrics.

“How’s that possible, I asked myself? That was the toughest challenge ever I imposed on myself,” Serrano confessed.

The inspiration of his collections was a take- off from the psychedelic colors of the 70s which he termed “psychedelia  in blooms” matched yet with stylish, customized headdresses and accessories of the era.

Excluding one in beige bridal gown which was Fanny’s crowning masterpiece, the nine couture collections were all in printed jersey fabrics of swirling wild colors cunningly pulled together hands-on with neither a major scissor’s cut nor machine stitches running in on them.

As such, Fanny’s masterly creations ingenuously stood side by side with each other by the top models of his choice gliding in them in free-flowing motions like mobile display of minimalist, albeit lyrical hand-painted art work to the delight of the rapt audience.

Each slight turn of the model and a lift of a hand here and there, revealed a restrained tweak of festive delight in each collection as highlight to each and every creation of the jersey fabrics in issue intricately woven in them or inlaid in its effect, be it a rose in bloom or brush strokes in geometric blazing colors slightly reminiscent of the op art scenes of the 70s.

Such ethereal peek into the flamboyant colors of the 70s made more enchanting, and yes classic in the hands of designer  Serrano who elevated the downside of the printed world of jersey fabrics into haute creations at its finest.

Serrano’s Victorian-inspired bridal gown in beige was his crowning masterpiece. It was also done wrap–around, unstitched and devoid of plodding hemlines. A classic elegant wedding gown that opens up in it a figure-hugging body wrapped in finely textured smooth laces extracted yet we guess from the long beards of the goats from the Himalayas.

In the hands of designer Serrano the wild and eschewed psychedelic colors of printed fabrics have never been that haute and truly enchanting.  It swept off the pen and online writing of Manila’s top and snooty fashion critics including us.

Congratulations Fanny Serrano! You have outdone yourself again.  Bravo to the Fashion Week 2011!


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